I just wanted to sit down at my typewriter here in my office, and have a little personal chat with you.
A recent event brought to mind the thought that our readers would like to know some of the inner workings of The WORLD TOMORROW broadcast, heard worldwide — and just HOW it goes on the air. Several times, in these semi-annual talks with our subscribers, I have answered the many questions about myself, personally.
But this time I think you'd like to know a little about my son, Garner Ted Armstrong — how he does the broadcast — and why you seldom hear me anymore on the air.
The incident that brought this suggestion to mind occurred recently on the Isle of Man. I was visiting the English campus of Ambassador College. With two of our executives, I flew over to the Isle of Man — a most interesting independent country, located in the Irish Sea, between England and North Ireland. We met with the Board of Directors of Manx Radio, over which we broadcast twice daily.
The idea was provoked by a conversation I had with the Program Manager of Manx Radio, He is personally interested in listening to The WORLD TOMORROW, and he asked several questions about my son, Garner Ted.
After our chat together, those in the room expressed regret that there had not been a microphone before us, tape- recording the conversation.
"I would most certainly have put that tape on the air," said the Program Manager. "Our listening audience would have been tremendously interested to hear those things about Garner Ted Armstrong, and how the program goes on the air."
So I thought that, if it would have been interesting to radio listeners on the Isle of Man, perhaps our readers would enjoy "listening in" — as nearly as I can remember what was said.
"I would like to know," he began, "how Garner Ted Armstrong does this program. Where does he get all the amazing facts he is always giving us? And how does he do the program? I don't see how he could keep pouring out so much information, unless it is all written on script — yet it doesn't sound like he is reading it, and he surely could not find the time to write so much, beside researching out so much information, and keep it up daily. And surely no one could carry so much in his head and ad-lib it."
I smiled. I suppose a lot of people wonder how this can be done.
So now, as closely as I can remember our conversation, I'll try to give you the explanation. In the first place, Ted has now been on the air for about 13 years. He is quite experienced. In the second place. he is very well informed. I think no man probably has a better grasp of world affairs and their significance, of social conditions, of family life and problems and of human nature. And more, probably no person on earth has a better knowledge and understanding of the Bible, and of Biblical prophecy — which gives the only real explanation of world conditions today, and of their meaning and where they are heading, and of the real meaning and purpose of life itself.
In the third place, so far as current news and events are concerned, Ted is an inveterate reader. He reads rapidly, as his mother did (I read very slowly). He crams in a lot of reading in his average day. He has an unusually apt sense of comprehension, especially for sifting out instantly what is important from what is trivial. And he has a remarkable power of retention. So his mind is pretty well filled with the things he talks about, so that they simply come fluently into the mike.
Fourthly, we have at Ambassador College, Pasadena campus, a very well-organized News Bureau, staffed with a crew of well- trained men. They have been trained our way — for this particular job, and our particular program. The News Bureau is equipped with both the AP and the UPI Teletypes. These are bringing us constantly, 24 hours a day, the full leased wire news reports from all over the world. We get the news at the same time it is received by leading newspapers and network news bureaus, for both radio and television newscasts!
Beside this they scan and clip the important news magazines — Time, Newsweek, U.S. News, Der Spiegel, and others, in addition to important newspapers, such as the Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, London Daily Times, and Paris Match. These men work very closely with Ted and with me and our writers for The PLAIN TRUTH.
Often the really important news might be printed in a small story on page 23, while a local murder gets the big headline on page 1. Our men are trained to sift out the really important news and get it, together with its meaning and significance, to our vast worldwide audience — news they probably never read in their newspapers, or heard on more current newscasts. This is all carefully boiled down, classified, and on whatever subject Ted is planning to speak, the high-spot news on that subject is brought to him about an hour before broadcast time daily.
When you add this news source to what Ted already has in his mind, perhaps you can realize how the facts come pouring so fluently out of your loudspeaker.
"But," asked the Program Manager at this stage, "how does he do the program? Is it merely done in a recording studio, or does it go on 'live'?"
I explained, it goes on the air "live." I learned years ago, when I was doing the program, that it made a great difference to know that I was actually on the air, and not merely talking to myself in a little room, with a microphone in front of me. The program is done in our own studios — and we have studios on each campus — and we have a direct broadcast line from our studio to local radio stations at both Pasadena and Big Sandy, Texas.
While the program is going out "live" over this one local station, it is also being recorded in our own control room on a master tape. This tape is then taken to our "dubbing" room, where we have a large battery of Ampex tape recorders. It is there "dubbed" at double speed — about a dozen at a time, and this process is repeated until we have more than 300, to be air-speeded on jet planes to stations around the world. Our technical men in our radio studios work in two 8-hour shifts daily — so that this recording and re-recording is going on 16 hours a day.
"Well why don't we hear you anymore, Mr. Armstrong?" he asked at this point. And many have asked this question.
Well, in a way, that's a little embarrassing. I've been really trying to get back on the air for months, now — at least two or three times a week. But our work has grown very big — worldwide — and has continued for 34 l/2 years to double in size and scope and impact every 2 3/4 years. And when, in so short a time, you double an organization and operation of our present magnitude, the chief executive finds more and more responsibilities crashing down on his shoulders constantly. I have to keep delegating more and more responsibilities to others, but a 30% per year growth is pretty hard to keep up with!
But there are some things I feel I simply cannot turn over to others — such as writing the editorials in The PLAIN TRUTH, writing articles, being engaged constantly in conferences with our faculties, with division heads, and even heads of some departments within a division; with architects and builders in planning our expansion programs on the three campuses.
I have done about twice as much writing during the past decade as I did during the preceding ten years. Garner Ted has developed so well in the broadcasting that I feel he is better now than I. I've reached the young and vigorous age of 76 now, and after all — there is a limit to how much I can get done in a day. It seems that Ted is doing less writing, but more broadcasting than he did; while I am doing more writing but less broadcasting. But I'm still trying to get things organized so that I can get back on the air a couple or three times a week. I guess I just have a struggle with myself, trying to get to it. Meanwhile, Ted is now also on television — and the television broadcasting will increase rapidly, just as the radio broadcasting did.
That is a summary of what I said in that conversation at Manx Radio.
And that brings me to something else I want to say to you! And I think this is VERY IMPORTANT!!!
I have just finished writing a new booklet. I intended it to be a PLAIN TRUTH article. But the subject developed into a manuscript too long for a single article. So I have decided to have our presses print it as a booklet, and offer it to you with this letter — FREE, of course.
The title is "W H Y MARRIAGE? — soon obsolete?"
As I write, the proofs are before me, set in type, ready for printing.
Is MARRIAGE on the way out? Is adultery still a SIN?
Some psychologists, taking a new look at the institution of MARRIAGE, are voicing shocking predictions! Indeed, in their professional eyes, with marriages breaking down all around us, the very desirability of the custom is being questioned.
So I, myself, after 50 years of very happy and rewarding marriage, have been taking a NEW LOOK at this question! And I ask some questions.
Animals do not marry. Now if man is merely the highest of the animals, at what stage in the evolutionary process did he adopt the institution of Marriage? And WHY? None of the "authorities" who believe evolution can answer.
Then we look at the "Christian" view. For many centuries, moral codes in the western world were set by the Roman Catholic Church. They taught that the un-married state of celibacy is a higher state than marriage. Also they taught that the only rightful purpose of sex, even in marriage, is reproduction. So now THINK! Marriage is not necessary for reproduction. Animals reproduce, but they don't marry. If, then, sex has no rightful use in marriage except for procreation, and marriage is not necessary for having children, would it, then, be better to procreate through sex, while living in the higher un-married state?
Would that be a logical deduction, based on Catholic teaching? But of course THAT would be FORNICATION!
I think you'll find this new booklet CHALLENGING, and mighty INTERESTING! It reveals a startling, even SHOCKING TRUTH about the marriage institution which has been altogether overlooked by science, by psychology, by evolutionists, and even by religion, by education, and by society!
It explains, as never before, how, when, and WHY the Marriage institution was started. It explains what FEW ever realized, the REAL PURPOSE AND TREMENDOUS TRANSCENDENT MEANING of Marriage!
It's not too long to read at one sitting! I think you'll be amazed — thrilled — INSPIRED!
And, if you'd like, I'll send along also your FREE copy of another new booklet, "HIPPIES, HYPOCRISY, and 'HAPPINESS'." We sent a team of editors to the notorious Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco to investigate, to observe and to question hippies. Also to interview and photograph the hippies at Bedfordshire, England. If you want the TRUTH about hippies — WHY the movement is GROWING — WHY teen-agers drop out of society, become hippies, take to drugs and illicit sex, you'll get it in this free booklet.
You know, of course, WE HAVE NOTHING TO SELL.
We NEVER SOLICIT THE PUBLIC for contributions. There is never a slight hint of request for donations on The WORLD TOMORROW. No charge on any of our literature. There are enough Co-Workers, who have voluntarily asked to have a part in this great Work, leading to the CHANGING OF THE WORLD, and finally THE SAVING OF THE WORLD — who believe as Jesus said, "It is more blessed to GIVE than to receive," — who want to GIVE, so that we may GIVE these precious things without price — without follow-up — without request for money. They join me in saying: "THANK YOU for allowing us to GIVE these precious truths. You get a great blessing, but we receive even a GREATER blessing to be privileged to GIVE."
So may I send you these two booklets? FREE!!! Let me know by return mail; you'll give me and Co-Workers the pleasure of sending them. A self-addressed envelope is enclosed for your convenience.